Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

2007 Components: Core 2 QX6700, GeForce 8800GTS, WD Raptor

Time To Upgrade: Should You Dump Your 2007 PC?
By

CPU: Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (2.66 GHz Quad Core)

Intel launched its Core 2 Duo processor in 2006 and followed up with Core 2 Quad shortly thereafter. We decided to include a quad-core processor to be able to check just how much better today’s four-core Core i7-870 performs. We did not have a mainstream Core 2 Quad Q6000-series chip, but the Core 2 Extreme QX6700. Although this was a $999 part, it was actually replaced by the Core 2 Quad Q6700 later on, which had exactly the same cache capcities and clock speeds. The only real difference was the thermal envelope, which was moved from 130 W in the case of the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 to 105 W on the Core 2 Quad Q6700. This was made possible by the G0 stepping that replaced B3 (which we use here).

This Kentsfield-based quad-core processor utilizes two 65 nm Conroe dies in one processor package. Each of the dies has a total of 4 MB L2 cache that is used by its two cores. Both dies run at 2.66 GHz and communicate over the front side bus. This has always been a reason for criticism, though it was alleviated by Core i7's monolithic construction.

Graphics: Zotac GeForce 8800 GTS

Our graphics card of choice is a GeForce 8800 GTS that is based on Nvidia’s G80 GPU with 20 ROPs and 96 stream processors. This card has 320 MB of GDDR3 video memory and was an upper-mainstream solution in 2007. It comsumes roughly 60 W at idle and a bit less than 140 W under full 3D load, which is a higher idle power requirement than you’d see on today’s upper mainstream graphics cards, while the peak power consumption is somewhat similar.

The GeForce 8-series was the first graphics family line that was based on Shader Model (SM) 4.0 and that came with DirectX 10 support.

Storage: Western Digital WD1500 Raptor

WD’s Raptor is one of the most popular hard drives among enthusiasts. The initial models had 36 and 74 GB and the third generation went up to 150 GB. The Raptor and the newer VelociRaptor drives are the only desktop hard drives with Serial ATA interfaces that work at a 10 000 RPM spindle speed, providing excellent access times and very robust throughput along with adequate capacities. Today’s VelociRaptor drives are based on the 2.5” form factor and are much faster. In addition, even a 7200 RPM hard drive delivers clearly more throughput than the WD1500 Raptor, but overall performance is still above average.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 81 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 8:30 PM
    The question for those who are making a "gradual upgrade/switch" is:
    What component to buy next? Will the new HD5870 give me a bigger boost than an SSD? These components can be used in both systems and don't require full mobo/cpu/ram upgrade... Kind of like that power supply you guys used for both systems.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 8:12 PM
    sorry, this comparison is near useless as you guys fail to break down what affected the performance more. perhaps it is the CPU. or was that SSD? your article does not answer that question. to bad...
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 9:34 PM
    Who upgrades an entire computer anymore? At least give a comparison benchmark using the same video card.
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    ern88 , August 23, 2010 7:53 PM
    I hope to get another year out of my E8400 O/C 3.6. Want to wait for the next offering from AMD and Intel. Should be interesting.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 8:12 PM
    sorry, this comparison is near useless as you guys fail to break down what affected the performance more. perhaps it is the CPU. or was that SSD? your article does not answer that question. to bad...
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 8:30 PM
    The question for those who are making a "gradual upgrade/switch" is:
    What component to buy next? Will the new HD5870 give me a bigger boost than an SSD? These components can be used in both systems and don't require full mobo/cpu/ram upgrade... Kind of like that power supply you guys used for both systems.
  • 3 Hide
    tomasz , August 23, 2010 8:30 PM
    q9650 on p35 board + gtx280, gaming @1680x1050, dont see any reason for upgrade. Not even upcomming radeon 6xxx... maybe someting after that. Pcie 1.1 does not seem to be a bottleneck either.
    All that becaue of current console generation I guess...
  • 4 Hide
    jasperjones , August 23, 2010 8:53 PM
    We see Moore's Law fails to hold in the comparison. 774 mil transistors in the i7-870 vs. 582 mil in the QX6700. CPU performance also clearly less than doubled over those 3 years...
  • 7 Hide
    warhammerkid , August 23, 2010 9:21 PM
    I had a Core 2 Duo E6750 OC 3.2 and an Nvidia 8800 GTX that I built back in early August 2007. This year I finally started having performance issues with Mass Effect 2 (I'm just going to ignore Crysis), and decided to upgrade the GPU for a GTX 460. Maybe next year I'll upgrade my CPU, but with the cost of a new motherboard, 4-6GB of memory, and an i7, it just isn't worth it yet.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 9:34 PM
    Who upgrades an entire computer anymore? At least give a comparison benchmark using the same video card.
  • -6 Hide
    asus x48 , August 23, 2010 10:11 PM
    No way e8600 ddr3 1333 cl.8 8gb's x48 full 16x on both vid/cards two wd/vr's two 4850 1gb ea. 256bit ea.gddr3 dx10.1 wei of 7.3 why?
  • 5 Hide
    sulsa76 , August 24, 2010 12:38 AM
    corequad273987239832You're comparing quad to dual core CPUs? Seems a bit unfair...

    Both the CPU's in the article are Quad Core.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 24, 2010 2:34 AM
    Thanks for the article, this question has been on my mind a lot lately. I have a Q6600/8GB RAM workstation that I've been debating upgrading for a while. I've done the video card and ssd thing and am now debating leaving it at that for a while or taking the plunge for an i7 platform (expensive with new MB/CPU/RAM).
  • 4 Hide
    Lutfij , August 24, 2010 2:41 AM
    I've been running my rig *E4300,DG965RY,2GB DDR2 800+ Mhz,xfx 7600GT* for just a lil' more than 3 years...upgrading to a maximus III formula w/ an i5... i made a dual core run for this long...i think its time for an upgrade plus CAD has become sluggish with the newer release. Its an upgrade ALRIGHT, just not trying to burn a hole in my wallet :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Fetal , August 24, 2010 6:31 AM
    lol, and i am making a new system around 2007 era. gts250, quad or c2d e7500 oc'd of course. xms rams. and i know for what i want, it will give me that, plus i can upgrade to gtx460 anytime. and i think this setup will last me 1 to 2 years easily and it costs near 500$ with lcd (300$=mobo,proc & gpu). So i am not moved by this article or the technology in forums. i don't need to game on 1080p resolutions.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , August 24, 2010 8:49 AM
    Why 8800GTS 320M?8800GTX 768M in a 2007's top gig makes more sense...
    And of course u can overclock the qx6700 to great clocks and narrow the performance diference ;) 
  • -1 Hide
    perzy , August 24, 2010 11:42 AM
    Great article, this is really what I appriciate with Tom's Hardware :-)
  • -1 Hide
    pschmid , August 24, 2010 1:45 PM
    @grass, Gradual Upgrade: This will be answered in a separate article.

    @yannigr: We didn't have too many suitable cards from 2007 available for this review. The 8800GTS isn't perfect, but representative.

    Thanks for your feedback!
    Patrick
  • 2 Hide
    lee3821 , August 24, 2010 2:13 PM
    I would have liked to see it broken down a bit more in the conclusion, as far as CPU/GPU balance, but what I pulled from it is that there's still no reason to upgrade my core2Quad Q9550 until I get more graphics horsepower than a single non-overclocked HD5850. Especially if I use ATI, which seems to be a little less dependent upon CPU.
  • -7 Hide
    Anonymous , August 24, 2010 5:09 PM
    I still own a Dell Dimension 8200 P4 3.06Ghz from 2001 and doing great with it. I'm waiting for Intel's next 2 o generations to see a wow effect.
  • 5 Hide
    wolfram23 , August 24, 2010 5:20 PM
    Firstly, not surprising although I suppose it's good to see a real comparison between CPUs

    However! Why wouldn't you switch the GPUs around to compare?? GPUs are easy replacements, whereas going from one CPU to another is a complete PC overhaul. Many people with the older system would definitely consider a simple GPU upgrade over a new PC if it's going to give good performance. I wish you had benched that in this article.
  • 4 Hide
    hangfirew8 , August 24, 2010 5:27 PM
    I was disappointed that the modern GPU wasn't tested in the old system. We all know good frame rates can be had with low-end AMD processors and a big video card.

    I have an early '08 era X-38 ($169 closeout when the X48 came out), Q9550 (1333FSB quad core, $169 at MicroCenter), and a GTX 275 ($179 at MicroCenter). While I have zero plans for an upgrade due to performance, I am always on the lookout for a good bargain.
Display more comments